I’m a glutton for punishment. Last time I reviewed 26 albums. This time? THIRTY. I need to seek professional help immediately as it’s really insane to try and listen to and review this much music at once. NOTE: Due to the fact it actually took 4 days to complete this review blog and it swelled from 20 reviews to 30 I didn’t provide any purchase links below. Much like a kid at the Special Olympics it was more important that I just FINISHED.
Fuck it, enough Kanye West-dressed-like-a-hipster-douchebag-Twizzler-while-banging-on-my-MPC2000 XL-haphazardly-as-ballerinas-cavort-around-me emo “woe is me” garbage and complaining about my workload. I CHOSE to do this, let’s get down to fuckin’ business already…
2Mex “My Fanbase Will Destroy You” 10.26.2010
2Mex is a Cali rhyme veteran. A former regular @ the legendary Good Life Cafe and a member of two of the most respected crews in Left Coast underground Hip Hop OMD (Of Mexican Descent) and The Visionaries, he signed with Sage Francis’ Strange Famous label to drop a new LP. Sonically, I CANNOT fuck with this album. At all. There are about 4 or 5 beats that didn’t make me wanna grow my hair then rip it out. I’m a 2Mex fan going back to the early/mid 90′s but I cannot in good conscious recommend my readers purchase it. Sorry.
9th Wonder “9th’s Opus, It’s A Wonderful World Music Group Vol. 1″ 10.26.2010
9th Wonder has two labels, JAMLA & The Academy. He also has a gang of acts under his umbrella including the members of the group Kooley High, Big Remo, Actual Proof, TP, GQ, Thee Tom Hardy, Tyler Woods & Heather Victoria. This album is sonically what you’d expect from a 9th Wonder produced album but the album features quite a few B teamers in addition to some ringers like The Away Team & Skyzoo.
9th even spits a few verses as his alter ego 9thmatic. All in all it’s good album but I preferred the Big Remo “Entrapment” project to this one. 12 tracks & 42 minutes of easy listening grown folks Hip Hop from North Carolina.
Cap D “PolyMath” 10.26.2010
Chances are you slept on the last last Cap D jawn “Return Of The Renegade” and the last All Natural LP “Elements (Fire)”. Cap D hasn’t made any solo material since 2007 and his last notable appearances were a beat on J-Live’s “Then What Happened?” and two jawn on the last All Natural release back in 2008. “PolyMath” is a solid album with only a few missteps out of 13 tracks.
Production was handled by the artist, !llmind, No I.D. in addition to Proh Mic, S.C., Yuani, Battlenek & Blended Babies. If you’re an All Natural fan or an oldhead underground Hip Hop fan then check for this.
Chaundon “No Excuses” 10.26.2010
The last time we heard Chaundon was on 2008′s impressive release “Carnage”. Chaundon is back with “No Excuses” where it’s pretty much straightforward real talk rap with mad hooks from Carlitta Durand, Erica Thompson & Darien Brockington. The one thing keeping the album from touching the same air that “Carnage” achieved is the overabundance of sung hooks and !llmind & M-Phazes also being implemented on three total tracks while the rest of the production was handled by D.K. The Punisher. It’s a solid effort. Check for it.
Dam-Funk “Adolescent Funk” 10.26.2010
If you’re a big Dam Funk fan then you need this in your life. If you love hearing demos then you’ll be in demo heaven as this project is full of material from 1988 to 1992 culled from demo tapes recorded by Dam Funk when he was a teenager. Not surprisingly it bodies 85% of the modern R&B you hear on the radio today. I recommend it for fans but if you aren’t already a true believer then start with “Toeachizown Vol. 1″ off Stones Throw.
Devlin “Bud, Sweat & Beers” 11.1/2.2010
Devlin is one of my favorite all time young Grime emcees. He was already a beast when he was 16, a member of both O.T. & The Movement alongside Ghetto, Wretch 32, Scorcher & Mercston (I regard this as one of the best collections of young Grime emcees evar). Devlin clashed the godfather of Grime Wiley before he even turned 18 and was regarded as nice by Kanye West himself.
When I heard he was signed by a major I hoped for the best but I prepared for the worst. Sung hooks on every song. Electro beats. Watered down bars. What really happened? A gang of sung hooks. Some watered down bars. A few emo song & electro beats. Is this as bad as it could have been? No. Is it pretty disappointing? Kinda. Honestly, I expected much worse. I give “Bud, Sweat & Beers” a maybe. Dammit Devs.
FS Green & Full Crate “Hi-Hat Club Vol. 5: Eggs & Pancakes” 10.22/25.2010
Two of the nicest producers from the Netherlands get together to drop the 5th installment of Melting Pot Music’s Hi-Hat Club series. The previous jawns have all been dope and this edition is no different. Amsterdam’s illest blessed us with 14 blaps that will end up making you exercise the back button on your music playing devices of choice.
Check out the Hi Hat Club Bandcamp page which I would link to but then I’d prolly never finish these reviews. It’s been DAYS as of the writing of this one. Cop it and look for the previous jawns if you managed to sleep on ‘em up until now.
H.I.S.D. (Hueston Independent Spit District) “The Weakend” 10.29.2010
If you’re unfamiliar with H.I.S.D. then you clearly aren’t a regular of FWMJ’s Rappers I Know site. Their previous project raised eyebrows all over the internets and even earned a cosign from Questlove himself. One listen of “The Weakend” is all you need to understand why. Production is on point and H.I.S.D. has the right name cuz they can spit for real.
You’d be hard pressed to find a weak moment on this album. Don’t sleep on these cats. It just dropped yesterday (thank Yahweh for advances) and it’s worth the purchase price. Cop it.
J-Live “Undivided Attention EP” 11.2.2010
Underground DJ/producer/emcee legend J-Live hit us all with the stellar LP “Then What Happened?” back in 2008. It’s been 2 years since then but J-Live came back with a new label Triple Threat Productions and a few singles via Bandcamp. His new LP “S.P.T.A (Said Person Of That Ability)” has been pushed back to 2011 and in lieu of the album J-Live instead blesses us with a fresh 6 song EP called “Undivided Attention EP” to tide us over until the album drops.
Production was handled by J-Live, Locsmif, Nicolay and newcomers S.M.K.A. and Korede. The beats and bars are top notch and I can’t wait to hear the full project when it drops next year. Cop it on Election Day.
Jammer “Jahmanji” 7.5.2010
Jammer was one of the top producers in the early days to the Golden Era of Grime when it first received attention from us Yanks across the pond. Jammer’s “Are You Dumb?” mixtape series, instrumentals and bars resulted in the hit “Murkle Man”. Instead of signing with a major that would require him to make Electro Grime, Jammer instead dropped his album on Big Dada Recordings.
This album is sonically easier to accept as a Grime release but it’s just okay as even it delves into the Funky House & Techno Grime realm. I guess I didn’t miss anything after all. *Kanye shrug*
Jay Scarlett & Onur Egin Present Maverick Sessions Two 6.14.2010
If you’re serious beathead or a fan of off the wall slaps then you NEED this in your life now. Expect to hear some of these jawns on upcoming Scrunchface Shows. I slept hard for real, if you’re up on the best up & coming producers of the beat culture/beat scene then this will be a no brainer purchase. I feel like an ass for not checking for it until know since it dropped back in the Summer. better late than never, right?
Kid Cudi “Man In The Moon 2: The Legend Of Mr. Rager” 11.9.2010
I fuckin’ HATE this dude. I hate his attitude. I hate his pants. I hate his face. I hate his entire DNA double helix. That being said, this album was halfway through before I even found anything that made me raise my eyebrows in anything remotely approaching disgust. As I explained last year, I don’t regard Kid Cudi albums as “Rap” albums.
Then again, was “The Love Below” a “Rap” album? All I know is I played it about five times (I mean as in multiplication wise) more than I played “Speakerboxx”…and “Speakerboxx” was ridiculoid. Cudi knows his strengths and he stays in his lane well. He’s figured out what works and he sticks to it. I guess he IS a fuckin’ wizard. You can listen to this in your iPod as you sit in the theater watching “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows” and see if the shit synchs up like with Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of The Moon” and “The Wizard Of Oz”…
LMNO, KeyKool & 2Mex “Blessing In Disguise” 10.19.2010
LMNO drops another project with his Visionaries crew members KeyKool (who handled the production) and 2Mex (remember him? I’ve literally reviewed so many albums in the this blog I’m reviewing multiple albums by the same artists. You’re witnessing history right now. No one else will ever put in more work than me at this shit. EVER. But I digress…).
The result is a nice project that Visionaries fans should cop. If you wanna save dough just cop the James Kelly 10 Pack rather than cop individual jawns. In any event, I dig this LP.
LMNO & DJ Babu “No Apologies”11.16.2010
Oh…you thought I bullshittin’? No Big Sean. I’m reviewing ANOTHER LMNO album right after I just reviewed his previous one. DJ Babu did his thing behind the boards which is no surprise to anyone who actually copped DJ Babu’s excellent project “The Beat Tape Vol. 2″ from earlier this year. LMNO & Babu complement each other extremely well so I again recommend you cop the James Kelly 10 pack which includes the December release “LMNO Is Dead” as well.
Lone Catalysts “Back To School” 10.01.201o
Ohio’s Lone Catalysts are back! J. Sands & J. Rawls return to the game with an album that goes back to their college where they first met and formed the group. J. Rawls production and J. Sands bars have always gone well together but the album really starts to pick up in the second half for me. Unforunately, the theme did nada for me.
I went to Morgan State, hated it & the only time I came across frat I ended up fighting them so it’s tough to reminisce about the whole Black Greek culture on college campuses as that shit was completely lost on me. In any event, this is a pretty good album and if you’re a J.Rawls or Lone Catalyst fan you should cop it. I just wish it had different cover art…
Lyrics Born “As U Were” 10.26.2010
I’ll be completely frank & honest. I haven’t enjoyed a solo Lyrics Born LP since 2005′s “Same Shit, Different Day”. I reviewed the disappointing “Everywhere At Once” on Poisonous Paragraphs back in 2008 and I can say that I was NOT feeling this either outside of three songs. I wish you guys understood how big of a fan I am of this emcee. I remember when he used to be Asia Born. I just wasn’t feeling “As U Were”. What’s next?
Madlib “Madlib Medicine Show No. 10: Black Soul” 10.26.2010
I need ALL of these records. I have like four of them. I now need them ALL. Don’t sleep on this mix of funky disco soul music. Madlib lets the cat out of the bag on about 10 -12 records I didn’t even drop in my “Diggas Know” drops on Twitter. Cop this shit, mayne!
Magestik Legend “The Great Escape” 11.30.2010
I’ll be damned. Magestik Legend JUST dropped an ill free mixtape called “To Be Continued Pt. 2″ on FWMJ’s Rappers I Know site. I was two days into playing that when I got a package in the mail. It contained the new Magestik Legend album. I’ve spent a week with it and I haven’t let anyone else around me hear it. I’m an asshole like that sometimes. Let me explain this project to you:
Take Magestik Legend’s bars and add production from Astronote and 14KT and what you get is one hell of a fucking album. I told Magestik Legend on Twitter that “The Great Escape” made me wanna beat myself in the head with a shoe. I should said a Timberland but I only had 140 characters at my disposal and I ran out of space.
As if that wasn’t enough you get guest contributions from Guilty Simpson, Buff1, T Calmese, DJ Rhettmatic, Fes Roc, Kam Moye & Hassan Mackey. NOVEMBER 30TH. Mark it down on your calendars now as the day you cop Magestik Legend’s “The Great Escape” to combat hearing Kid Cudi & Kanye West blaring out of everyone else’s cars, iPods & Zunes (Riiight. Zunes)
Moe Dirdee & Chanes “M.O.E. (Mark Of Excellence)” 8.25.2010
Moe Dirdee is yet another Detroit product and “M.O.E” is his debut solo project. It seems like this city/state can do nothing wrong Hip Hop wise and with Chanes behind the boards Moe spits raw shit over his beats and what results is dope for the ears. Usually when you hear some hard spittin’ the dude is rarely really nice with it but in Detroit that their specialty it seems. You get to bang the hard street shit with some lyrics that will have you reaching for the rewind button as well.
As if you need more incentive to hear or purchase this album, it features guest appearances by Freeway, One Be Lo, Ro Spit, Miz Korona, Ketchphraze, Jypsy, Streetz & Clemmyne as well. “M.O.E” is N.O.W. available on iTunes. Don’t S.L.E.E.P.
Mr. Brady begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting “Labor Of Love” 10.26.2010
Left coast production heavyweight Mr. Brady put out his long awaited jawn “Labor Of Love” back on Tuesday and it is raw. The project features such Hip Hop luminaries as Diamond D, Exile, Guilty Simpson, Aloe Blacc, Blu, Opio, Tajai, Moka Only, LMNO, Blame One, MED, Johaz, Sene, Shawn Jackson, Sha Dula, Kas One & Just Brea of Deep Rooted and when you combine that with slaps from Mr. Brady you have one monster of an album. We’ve played several selections from it on the Scrunchface Show and Mr. Brady has proven the point we made earlier this year when Bloggerhouse declared 2010 “The Year Of The Producer”. Cop it, too…
N.E.R.D. “Nothing” 11.2.2010
One thing N.E.R.D. knows how to do is make excellent material and stay in their lanes. I’ve liked all the previous N.E.R.D. projects but they really started to figure out how to put it together on their second album. “Seeing Sound” was bananas and aside from making the mistake of a Zune sponsorship (Really guys? ZUNE?) it was one hell of an album. N.E.R.D. did some nice work on “Nothing. I fuck with this musically. Cop the deluxe edition on Election Day if possible as it has 4 more songs then the regular retail version which stops at only 10. Why did my press advance have so many live versions, though?
Newham Generals “Bag Of Grease EP” 10.4.2010
The Newham Generals alongside JME’s “Blam!” have helped to restore my faith in Grime that there are artists that still make proper Grime music. Their album “Generally Speaking” was actually grimy while Dizzee Rascal has crossed over to the pop tart charts years ago. God bless Newham Generals. Those who still love Grime salute you.
Ne-Yo “Libra Scale” `10.26.2010
I’m pissed off at Ne-Yo because I absolutely wanted to hate this album but I don’t. This album was short, concise and to the point which was both a strength and a weakness. At 10 tracks there was little to no room for error or any kind of filler on this project. There were about three tracks I really wasn’t feeling but at least this album didn’t make me wanna roundhouse kick a homeless orphan in line at a soup kitchen in the face so they drop their bowl and spill scalding hot soup all over themselves. That’s a positive…
Othello & DJ Vajra “The Required Taste” 10.4.2010
The last solo LP I heard from Lightheaded crew member and producer Othello was 2006′s slept on opus “Alive At The Assembly Line”. After hearing “The Required Taste” you’ll be thinking to yourself “What the Hell took so long?”. Guest appearances include Ohmega Watts, Stro The 89th Key, Braille, Theory Hazit, Dminor, Barry Hampton, Ragen Fykes, Now On & Mayer Hawthorne (I guess because folks don’t realize that DJ Haircut AKA Mayer Hawthorne is actually IN Now On?). If you appreciate musicianship and live instrumentation in your Hip Hop then you can rock with this.
If you like that positive, easy listening rap de rap then cop this yesterday. If you prefer something a lot more ignorant than regard this album as n*gga repellent and snatch up a Gucci Mane or a Waka Flocka Flame CD or some shit. Then leave my fuckin’ island (and by “island” I mean “the Earth”).
Skillz “The World Needs More Skillz” 10.26.2010
I’m pretty disappointed in this album. It’s softer than hospital cotton that was raised by it’s grandma in the suburbs of Vermont. The production was mediocre and there were too few actual “skillz” flexed on this album. If there was one more song dedicated to the ladies with an R&B singer on the hook I would lost my cotdayum mind. Listen to his previous albums and download the recent mixtape but avoid this album like it was Kat Stacks up in the club.
Statik Selektah & Termanology “1982″ 10.26.2010
Statik Selektah is one of the best producers in the game. Termanology is one of the best spitters around. Together they made one hell of an album. I hit both of these cats up on Twitter and told me that the big homie Scientifik would be proud of both of them for this effort. For those of you that don’t know, Scientifik was one of the greatest Boston area emcees ever (Shout out to Lawrence, MA!) and he’s no longer with us. Krumbsnatcha, Statik Selektah, Termanology, ST Da Squad, W.O.L.V.E.S. & REKS are all continuing his legacy. Cop the album. What’s next?
Tinie Tempah “Disc-Overy” 10.4.2010
This album sounds like music that robots party and/or fuck to. Unfortunately for Tinie Tempah, I am NOT a robot so fuck this overproduced electro technopop piece of ass album. Next!
Vinnie Paz “Prayer For The Assassin EP” 10.26.2010
If you liked “Season Of The Assassin” then here are for remixes for $4.99 on iTunes. Not willing to pay $4.99 for 4 remixes when you spent $9.99 already on the full album? Then keep on movin’ like Soul II Soul then…
Wisemen “Children Of A Lesser God” 10.26.2010
I liked the first Wisemen record. I like this record. I don’t like it as much as the first jawn a couple of years ago, though. I’m probably going to forget that this album even came out about a month from now when I start making my “Best Of 2010″ lists. Why lie? Unless you’re a super Wu Tang Killa Bee diehard fan you really don’t need this one. You don’t. Cop some Ramen Pride noodles for a month instead.
Zumbi & The ARE present “The Burnerz” 10.12.2010
Zumbi of Zion I & The ARE of the Legendary K.O. AKA K-Otix teamed together to make an ill project beats & barswise. Stop sleepin’ on it. Now I need to finally take my ass to sleep. I earned it.